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Journal Article

The PLATO 2.0 Mission

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons20654

Amaro-Seoane,  P.
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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1310.0696.pdf
(Preprint), 2MB

PLATO2.0.pdf
(Any fulltext), 4MB

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Citation

Rauer, H., Catala, C., Aerts, C., Appourchaux, T., Benz, W., Brandeker, A., et al. (2014). The PLATO 2.0 Mission. Experimental Astronomy, 38(1-2), 249-330. doi:10.1007/s10686-014-9383-4.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-7545-F
Abstract
PLATO 2.0 has recently been selected for ESA's M3 launch opportunity (2022/24). Providing accurate key planet parameters (radius, mass, density and age) in statistical numbers, it addresses fundamental questions such as: How do planetary systems form and evolve? Are there other systems with planets like ours, including potentially habitable planets? The PLATO 2.0 instrument consists of 34 small aperture telescopes (32 with 25 sec readout cadence and 2 with 2.5 sec candence) providing a wide field-of-view (2232 deg2) and a large photometric magnitude range (4-16 mag). It focusses on bright (4-11 mag) stars in wide fields to detect and characterize planets down to Earth-size by photometric transits, whose masses can then be determined by ground-based radial-velocity follow-up measurements. Asteroseismology will be performed for these bright stars to obtain highly accurate stellar parameters, including masses and ages. The combination of bright targets and asteroseismology results in high accuracy for the bulk planet parameters: 2%, 4-10% and 10% for planet radii, masses and ages, respectively. The planned baseline observing strategy includes two long pointings (2-3 years) to detect and bulk characterize planets reaching into the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars and an additional step-and-stare phase to cover in total about 50% of the sky. PLATO 2.0 will observe up to 1,000,000 stars and detect and characterize hundreds of small planets, and thousands of planets in the Neptune to gas giant regime out to the HZ. It will therefore provide the first large-scale catalogue of bulk characterized planets with accurate radii, masses, mean densities and ages. This catalogue will include terrestrial planets at intermediate orbital distances, where surface temperatures are moderate. Coverage of this parameter range with statistical numbers of bulk characterized planets is unique to PLATO 2.0.